November 04, 2014 / To Provide is to Survive
Provider traits can give you a chance with women you couldn't get otherwise.
In TVJ’s introduction to Triangle Attraction Theory, he makes the argument that it is always best to start off on the Lover spectrum with a girl. From Lover, it’s often easy to become a boyfriend or even husband. Similarly, if one is not starting out as a Lover, it becomes much more difficult to go from Companion or Provider into boyfriend or more. We’ve also emphasized this point indirectly many times, in my article about how taking it slow is a bad strategy, and in TVJ’s articles about how you shouldn’t play the long game unless you don’t have a choice.
However, "Lover Game" isn’t the only way to get women. Another way is "Provider Game": a dating approach where one appeals to the evolutionary desires for survival as opposed to the evolutionary desire to reproduce. It’s not an ideal approach: it often costs money, time, effort, and has certain requisites for it to work. It’s also slower approach than initiating as a Lover, and exposes you to more risk of failure and risk of unfaithfulness, but, it’s better than nothing. And that’s what this article is about.
Women Seek S + R, Not Just R
I cover the fundamental theorem of attraction in my free e-book, Josh Sway’s Crash Course to Women and Attraction. But if you haven’t read it yet, then I’ll sum it up here. At a biological level, women are looking to maximize their chances of survival (S) and reproduction (R).
The main reason Provider traits are attractive to a women, especially in an LTR, is because women do not only evolutionary seek a suitable mate for reproduction, but also a mate suitable to increase her survival probability and the survival probability of her offspring. While the most effective well-rounded game focuses on demonstrating both S and R value, most of our advice here focuses on the "R." Approaching with confidence, demonstrating high value, and building attraction are all intended to demonstrate a high reproductive value to women via looks, strength, confidence, healthy behavior, and implicit value (e.g. other high quality girls liking you implying to women you have high "R" value).
On the other hand, provider game is focused on the "S'" demonstrating to women that you have the resources, emotional skills, and power to, in the most primitive sense, increase her and her offspring’s chances of survival. It’s another dimension to game, and another approach to getting women if you fail to display sufficient "R" value.
Sometimes, R Isn’t an Option
Provider and Lover traits can run with very little intersection or overlap, and that’s what makes both valuable. However, sometimes appealing to "R" simply isn’t an option. Conversely, you may be in a position where you can appeal to "S" in abundance. It’s these scenarios where a strong display of Provider traits is better than a weak display of anything. Just like "R" is enough to seduce, believe it or not, so is "S."
Taking Her Out to Dinner is Not Enough
This may seem like I’m advocating "spending a lot of money on a woman and then she’ll have sex with you." But this is an overly simplistic viewpoint. If you’re going to go down this road, keep the following things in mind.
Your Provider Traits Must Be Exceptional
A lot of our readers have good careers in the technology industry, making well over six figures. But if you live in a major metropolitan area, making $100,000 a year as a software engineer is not nearly enough to attract women with only Provider traits. Recall TVJ’s article about expensive cars. Note in the graph, there’s not much of a benefit between a Honda Accord and an Audi A4, but value does spike once you get into really expensive cars like a Ferrari.
The sample principle applies to Provider traits. Taking her out to a $200 dinner is only mildly more impressive than taking her out to a $60 dinner. Renting a hotel room in Napa, flying there first-class and taking her out to dinner after a day of wine tasting is a lot more impressive. But you can imagine that unless you make a lot of money, this is not sustainable to do with every girl you’re attracted to. If you don’t have the kind of financial resources to do stuff like this, then stick to the $60 dinner.
You Still Must Be Aggressive With Your Intentions
In a Season 6 episode of Seinfeld ("The Label Maker"), Elaine has this exchange with the dentist, Tim Whatley, who has asked Elaine to go to the Super Bowl with him.
- Elaine: I’ve got a confession to make
- Tim: Oh? What’s that?
- Elaine: I’ve got Super Bowl fever.
- Tim: Oh yeah, me too.
- Elaine: So where are we staying?
- Tim: Oh, the Ambassador.
- Elaine: Oh. Big room?
- Tim: It’s a regular room, but it’s right downtown.
- Elaine: Downtown?
- Tim: Right downtown.
- Elaine: What do they have there, a couple of beds?
- Tim: Why? You bringing someone else?
- Elaine: No, but don’t you think there should be two beds? There’s two of us.
Taking a girl to the Super Bowl is obviously a very strong display of Provider traits. But as you can see by this exchange, Elaine thinks the situation is ambiguous, and seeks to clarify Tim’s romantic intentions, and make it very clear she’s not interested in anything sexual.
Tim may have thought, "of course there’s one bed, why would I ask a girl to the Super Bowl if I wasn’t romantically interested?" But you can’t assume sexual interest is implied with a display of Provider traits. As TVJ indicated in his diagrams, the most extreme example of a Provider is a father, which is clearly a non-sexual relationship.
Like Tim Whatley, you must still express Lover intentions even if you’re taking Provider actions.
Zero "R" Means Zero Fidelity
Your Provider traits can appeal to a woman’s desire for survival, but you still must find some way of showing your "reproductive value" as well. Take the typical soap opera situation where a female character is married and has a family with the stable, vanilla husband, but her children are actually fathered by the charismatic "bad boy" rogue she had an affair with. In other words, the woman is maximizing her "S" from one guy (her milquetoast husband) and her "R" from another (her sexy affair partner).
You don’t want to be the clueless husband, spending a lot of money on a woman while she sleeps with another guy. Provider traits can get your foot in the door with a woman, but you need to show value for "R" as well.
A Page Out of the Playbook, not the Whole Playbook
A strong display of Provider traits is basically taking a page out of the "sugar daddy" playbook. It’s what allows fat old rich ugly guys to get beautiful women. If it can work for them, it can work for you.
But hopefully you recognize that this should be your primary method to attract women. It requires a tremendous amount of resources, and not only is there a risk you won’t build sufficient attraction, there’s also a risk she’ll initially be interested and then just cheat on you later. It will always be a better move to present yourself as a Lover, and then mix in Provider traits if you’re interested in an exclusive LTR.